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We must address domestic violence to save family institution

Nigeria is currently witnessing a most worrisome trend of marriages crashing and families breaking apart as a result.  The rapid turn of events is fast…

Nigeria is currently witnessing a most worrisome trend of marriages crashing and families breaking apart as a result. 

The rapid turn of events is fast yielding a country of single parents and all its means for innocent children and a society where fragility, unfortunately, continues to define family life. 

As a deeply religious society that is at once multi-religious and multicultural, the place of the family as the nucleus of the Nigerian society has never really been in doubt. 

But it is not just family for the sake of it. It is family for the sake of procreation. Critically, it is family for the sake of the continuity of the society. 

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Crucially, it is family bound by marriage. Usually, when there is no marriage, there is always a hint of a scandal. 

However, as things stand, the alarm bells toll furiously for marriages in Nigeria. The rate of divorce is going through the roofs. Simply put, it is a nightmare for many. Those who hold family life dear, and they are many, are horrified to put it mildly. 

Celebrity marriages are crashing with frightening frequency. If the often harsh spotlight can be blamed for that, what is to be said about marriages that are under the radar but have tumbled in recent times. 

Nigerian courts are overflowing with divorce matters as couples desperately seek out of troubled marriages. 

A multitude of factors have been blamed as culprits in crashing marriages. Societal pressure, parental pressure, peer pressure and of course pressure from those in the crashing marriages themselves who do not do all that circumspection demands before wheeling into turbulent marriages. 

Nigeria very much remains an African country and an African society. The traditional African society is very much about values, beliefs and traditions. It is also about holding things sacred. 

Marriage is very much considered sacred in Nigeria. It is why the frequency with which marriages end in Nigeria presents such a formidable set of challenges to many Nigerians. 

It would appear however, that where other forces like religion fail, the law can step in powerfully to keep things gliding along. 

A known cause of many failing marriages is domestic violence. Undoubtedly, domestic  violence is one of the  biggest challenges facing many marriages today. 

It has left indelible scars in many marriages  and that is even when it has not resulted in death. 

Nigeria has a slew of legislations which if properly implemented can check the fearsome danger that domestic violence poses to many marriages. 

One of such salutary legislations is the Violence Against Persons Act. But the implementation of these laws very much remains a problem as with everything else in Nigeria. For Nigeria to save its marriages, it must at least as much as it can ensure that those marriages are very much free of domestic violence. 

But whatever be the case, it is clear that the alarm bells toll for the institution of marriage in Nigeria. 

That institution is very much besieged by many man-made problems and Nigeria must admit the fact to see that what little is left of it is saved. 

The motivation to do this must especially come from the frightening toll divorce and broken homes always heap on children. 

Whatever has to be done has to be done urgently to save many marriages in Nigeria because if things continue the way they are going, there may soon be nothing left. 

Kene Obiezu, Twitter @kenobiezu 


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